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740711 - Lecture SB 01.16.21 - Los Angeles

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His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

740711SB-LOS ANGELES - July 11, 1974 - 30:49 Minutes

Prabhupāda: (leads singing of Jaya Rādhā-Mādhava) (prema-dhvani)


Nitāi: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. (Prabhupāda and devotees repeat) (leads chanting of verse, etc.)

arakṣyamāṇāḥ striya urvi bālān
śocasy atho puruṣādair ivārtān
vācaṁ devīṁ brahma-kule kukarmaṇy
abrahmaṇye rāja-kule kulāgryān
(SB 1.16.21)


Translation: "Are you feeling compunction . . . compassion for the unhappy women and children who are left forlorn by the unscrupulous persons? Or are you unhappy because the goddess of learning is being handled by brāhmaṇas addicted to acts against the principles of religion? Or are you sorry to see that the brāhmaṇas have taken shelter of administrative families that do not respect brahminical culture?"

Prabhupāda: Arakṣyamāṇāḥ striya urvi bālān. According to Vedic culture, first protection: to the cows, to the women, to the brāhmaṇas, to the children and to the old man. This is the first business of the government, to give protection. Practically there is no criminal charge against them—against a brāhmaṇa, against a woman, a child. Suppose a child steals something. Who is going to prosecute him? It is not taken very seriously. So they require protection. They should not be given freedom. Like a child, he is not given freedom, similarly freedom . . . of course, there is. Protection means to some extent no freedom. If I want to protect the child, then I sometimes say: "Don't do this." That is one of the item of the protection.

So here description of cow-killing is already done. Now in this age, Kali, these things will be lacking. First thing is that no protection for woman. Woman requires protection by the father, by the husband and by the elderly children. But that is now finished. Practically no protection. They are, under the name of so-called freedom, loitering in the street. It is a very abominable condition of life. Now these things are very prominent in the Western countries especially. In India they are still dragging the Vedic culture, so women are given protection. The father gives protection to the woman, child, and up to sixteen years, utmost. Then she must be married. The father's duty will be finished when the daughter is given to a suitable boy to take charge. That is marriage system. Marriage system is that it is necessary, necessary for social equilibrium. And it is the duty of the father to get the daughter married to a suitable boy. And when she is married, then the father's duty is finished. Unless she is married, the father's duty is not finished. This is Vedic culture. It is called kanyā-dāya. Kanyā means daughter, and dāya means obligation. Kanyā-dāya.

There are so many debts. Putra-ṛṇa, pitṛ-ṛṇa, deva-ṛṇa, bhūtāpta.

devarṣi-bhūtāpta-nṛṇāṁ pitṟṇāṁ
nāyam ṛṇī na kiṅkaro ca rājan
sarvātmanā yaḥ śaraṇaṁ śaraṇyaṁ
gato mukundaṁ parihṛtya kartam
(SB 11.5.41)

We have got debts to so many people. First debt is to the demigods. Just like the sun-god, moon-god, they are supplying heat, light. The Varuṇa. In this material world we have got so many debts. But people do not care for it. Just like we are receiving light from sun, but what we are paying to the sun? Therefore we remain debtor. This is Vedic idea. You are getting this electricity. If you don't pay the bill, how long you will be able to use it? After some days the connection will be cut off. But although we do not pay any bill to the sunlight, because it is the order of Kṛṣṇa, it is giving us light. But how long it will go on? This is sinful. If you take something from a person and if you do not repay, that is sinful. Ṛṇa. It is called ṛṇa.

So there are so many debts. First to the demigod, then to the ṛṣis, saintly persons. Because we get knowledge, Vedic knowledge, from the ṛṣi, we must be debtor. Guru-ṛṇa: debtor to the spiritual master, to the sages, to the saintly persons, because we are getting knowledge from them. Therefore the Vyāsa-pūjā is there. Once in a year the disciples are worshiping the spiritual master and trying to repay that he has received from the spiritual master. Devarṣi-bhūta. Similarly, in our ordinary dealings also, you are my friend, I am your friend; you are getting some help from me, I am getting some from you. So we are debtors, obligation. Devarṣi-bhūta, āpta. Āpta means relatives or family. We are indebted to the father, mother, elderly family members. In this way we are implicated with so many debts. Devarṣi-bhūtāpta-nṛṇāṁ pitṟṇām (SB 11.5.41).

So you can liquidate the debts simply . . . it is practically impossible. Therefore, if you take shelter of Mukunda, śaraṇaṁ śaraṇyam, the worthy of taking shelter . . . if you take shelter of anyone else, he cannot give you protection. Kṛṣṇa says, ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi. If you cannot liquidate your debts, you become sinful. But if you surrender to Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa says:

sarva-dharmān parityajya
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi . . .
(BG 18.66)

"I shall get you release." This is one side. And . . . from spiritual angle of vision. But from material angle of vision, ṛṇa, debts, you can become insolvent, "I cannot pay." If you apply to the court . . . I do not know whether this act is there in your country. In India there is insolvency act. If one is debtor, then his asset, then he submits to the court that, "I have got so much asset and I have got so much debt. So people may not harass me, the court may divide amongst my creditors whatever I have got." This is called insolvency. So court decides that he has got thousand dollars' debt, but he has got only one hundred dollar, so that one hundred dollar is divided: "You take this and be satisfied." He is not . . . that is called insolvency. That is in terms of debts.

But so far the debts of the daughter, it is not debt; it is called dāya, kanyā-dāya. Debt you can take insolvency, but dāya means it is so obligatory, there is no such question that you can get relief from it. It must be met. Therefore the word is used, kanyā-dāya. Still in India, the process is as soon as the girl is grown up, the father is very anxious to find out a suitable boy and hand her over. Then . . . so that protection will be finished. It is already finished, at least in Western countries. There is no obligation of the father how to get the daughter married. Therefore the question is, "Whether you are lamenting that in this age of Kali these things will happen, cow slaughter, no obligation for the daughter . . ." And bālān, children, they are also not taken care of. Not only that they are taken care of, but now child or baby is being killed. This is Kali-yuga. This is called Kali-yuga. And how one can be happy? So many sinful activities are going on. How they expect to become happy? It is not possible.

Therefore it is being asked that "Whether you are thinking of all these things and therefore you are unhappy?" Sober man becomes unhappy. Para-duḥkha . . . especially Vaiṣṇava. Vaiṣṇava has no problem for himself, but he has many problems for others. Because a Vaiṣṇava . . . that is Vaiṣṇava, unhappy by seeing others unhappy. That is Vaiṣṇava. That is a first-class Vaiṣṇava, para-duḥkha-duḥkhī. Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu. By His practical example . . . He was a very learned scholar, many students, very respectable. He was so respectable in Navadvīpa that in one night He collected a hundred thousand of people to challenge against the Kazi's judgment, civil disobedience. Kazi acted against saṅkīrtana, so Caitanya Mahāprabhu challenged, "Now, tonight we shall perform saṅkīrtana with one hundred thousand of people." And one hundred thousand of people gathered together and chanting and went to the house of Kazi.

So the example is . . . He was at that time hardly twenty years old, but how much influence He had that simply by His order one hundred thousand people collected and chanted Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and challenged the Kazi that, "You are forbidding. We shall continue. Do whatever you like." So this is His popularity. And Lakṣmī-priyā, the, directly the goddess of fortune, wife, most beautiful young wife, and seventy-years-old mother. So He has got obligation. But still, Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Vaiṣṇava, para-duḥkha-duḥkhī. That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Tyaktvā su-dustyaja-surepsita-rājya-lakṣmīṁ dharmiṣṭha ārya-vacasā yad agād araṇyam (SB 11.5.34). He had no business to take sannyāsa at very young age, only twenty-four years old, such nice family, good wife, mother. In a family where there is good mother and good wife, that is happy family. And one who has no good mother and good wife, then it is hell. This is Vedic culture. So Cāṇakya Paṇḍita says, mātā yasya gṛhe nāsti. If somebody has no mother at home, bhāryā cāpriya-vādinī, and the wife is very harsh, dealing with the husband not very properly, araṇyaṁ tena gantavyam, he immediately give up that house and go to the forest. This is Cāṇakya Paṇḍita. That what is the use of such nonsense house?

mātā yasya gṛhe nāsti
bhāryā cāpriya-vādinī
araṇyaṁ tena gantavyaṁ
yathāraṇyaṁ tathā gṛham
(Cāṇakya Paṇḍita)

For him the home is as good as forest. Therefore there is no family system. Everything finished.

So it is the only Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement trying to bring back Vedic culture so that people may be very happy. It is not a business; it is not a religious sentiment. It is a program to make everyone happy. Sarve sukhino bhavantu. This is Vedic culture. Not that, "I exploit you, you exploit me, I cut your throat, you cut my throat." This is not human society. And this has begun already. Because you cut throat of the animals—you are very expert, cutting throat—now you will cut throat each other. This is the . . . so a sober man, thinking all this downfall of the human civilization, he becomes very unhappy. He becomes very unhappy. Oh. This human civilization, human being, human form of life, was given by God or the nature for cultivating Kṛṣṇa consciousness, spiritual. That is not possible in the lower form of life, animals, the cats and dogs. And this is an opportunity given by nature's law. Now we get this body. Now you understand your position, what you are, to understand that you are not this body. So long in the lower grade of life you were under the impression that you are body, the cats and dogs. They do not know that the body and soul is different. But it is the human form of life to understand that, "I am not this body."

That education begins in the Bhagavad-gītā in the beginning: dehino 'smin yathā dehe (BG 2.13). Dehī means the possession of the Dehī is within the body, not the body is the person. But no education. Throughout the whole scientific world, university education, there is no concern that, "I am not this body; I am soul." Such a foolish, rascal civilization is going in the name of advancement. No protection for woman, no protection of children, no respect for brahminical culture. So it is the animal civilization. Polished animal, that's all. Otherwise it is not civili . . . that is Vedic culture. Therefore . . .

And another, brahma-kule kukarmaṇi. Kukarmaṇi. Ku means bad, and karma means work. So they are very much proud. Here, you have no such thing here, because there is no question of brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. Everyone is the same. So, but India still, there are four classes of men—brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. Here it is in Kali-yuga. Therefore kukarmaṇy abrahmaṇye rāja-kule kulāgryān. Brāhmaṇa and kṣatriya . . . brāhmaṇa means the persons learned, very intelligent, the Vedic culture, knowledge in Vedas. Śamo damas titikṣā ārjavam (BG 18.42). These are the brahminical qualification. Control the senses, control the mind, very clean. Śamo damas titikṣā, tolerant; ārjava, simplicity. These are the brahminical qual . . . then jñānam, full knowledge. Not that I am talking of becoming a brahmin, but I have no knowledge. That is not brāhmaṇa, allowed. A brāhmaṇa must be very much learned. Brāhmaṇa's another title is paṇḍita. Paṇḍita means very learned, paṇḍitajī. (aside) Where is our paṇḍitajī? He is not here? Hmm?

Devotee: He's not here this morning.

Prabhupāda: He is not well? . . . (indistinct) . . . hmm. So this is civilization, this is culture. So at the present moment there is no respect for brahminical culture. Just like we are trying to make our disciples perfectly men of character: no illicit sex, no intoxication, no gambling, no meat-eating. And people will take it very lightly. They laugh. Because they do not know what is brahminical culture, what is the perfection of human life. So all these are happening and will continue to happen till the end of this age, very, very dangerous. We must always consider. Don't be allured by big, big highways and skyscraper building with full advertisement of wine and cigarette. This is not life. This is not life. Life . . . here is life. Let anyone come and compare this life in this temple and outside. This is life.

So be careful that this material world is itself dangerous. Especially in this age of Kali, it is dangerous. It is stated in the śāstra, padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadām (SB 10.14.58): every step there is danger. This is the position. Māyā is so strong that you should always expect simply danger. But if you become Kṛṣṇa conscious, you can overcome these dangers. Padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadāṁ na teṣām. It is not . . . this dangerous position is not for them. Who? Samāśritā ye pada-pallava-plavam: one has to . . . who has taken shelter of the lotus feet. It is a great ocean, just like the Pacific Ocean. The . . . it is a just like a great ocean, big ocean of ignorance. As in the ocean if you go, even on a boat, it is always dangerous, similarly, we are in the ocean of material civilization. There is always danger. But if you take shelter of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, paraṁ padam, then you overcome the danger and you go back to home, back to Godhead.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Jaya Prabhupāda. (end)